Beavers Drop Heartbreaker To USC, 69-68
Jan. 19, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Oregon State rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit to take the lead, but USC pulled out a back-and-forth game with a basket in the final seconds to defeat the Beavers, 69-68, Saturday night at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Beavers (10-8, 0-5 Pac-12) took a 68-67 lead on a layup by Joe Burton with 12.6 seconds to play, but Aaron Fuller answered with a layup with 4.8 seconds remaining to put the Trojans on top, 69-68. After an Oregon State timeout, Devon Collier took an inbound pass from Roberto Nelson but was unable to convert the game-winning shot.
"We threw it right down to Devon (Collier)," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "We got it right where we wanted to the guy we wanted and it didn't go in."
There were eight lead changes in the final 2:52 of the game with neither team taking more than a one-point advantage.
"It was a heartbreaker," Robinson said. "But when you're on the road, you have to play well for the entire time. You can't play well for parts of the game. I was happy to see our fight to come back from that. I was happy to see the execution after that first three minutes (of the second half) when I called that timeout. But it's not enough. We have to play better. I have to coach better. We have to get better."
USC opened the second half on a 7-0 run to take a 46-31 lead with 18:38 to play. But the Beavers played tenacious defense to propel an 18-2 spurt and take a 49-48 lead at the 11:52 mark when Burton split a pair of free throws. The Trojans led by as many as four points at 54-50, but Oregon State never quit and took a 62-61 lead on a tip in by Collier with 2:26 to play.
Eric Wise made two free throws to put the Trojans up 63-62, but Burton put the Beavers back on top at 64-63 on a layup. Byron Wesley answered with a layup to make it 65-64 before Nelson made a jumper from just inside the three-point line for a 66-65 advantage.
The Beavers forced a turnover but gave it back on an errant inbound pass that resulted in a layup by Wise for a 67-66 USC lead. Burton made another layup to put the Beavers ahead 68-67 before Fuller made his only basket of the game for the winner.
Nelson scored a game-high 26 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line, and Collier and Burton each finished with 16. Eric Moreland, who was suspended the past three games for a violation of team rules, had eight rebounds and three points off the bench.
"Roberto Nelson played a great game offensively in that second half," Robinson said. "He just absolutely did a yeoman's role there."
With the score knotted at 24, USC went on an 8-0 run on an old-fashioned three-point play by Dewayne Dedmon, a long three-pointer from Jio Fontan and a short jumper by J.T. Terrell to force an Oregon State timeout. Nelson grabbed an offensive rebound, was fouled and made two free throws to pull the Beavers within 32-26 with 5:04 to play in the half.
Olaf Schaftenaar nailed a three-pointer as the shot clock expired at the 4:13 mark to make it 35-29 USC before both teams went on a long scoring drought. Nelson answered a layup by Byron Wesley with a pair of free throws to end the slide, but James Blasczyk threw down a tip dunk at the buzzer to give the Trojans a 39-31 lead at the break.
Wesley scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half, and Wise added 18 points for the Trojans (8-11, 3-3). Terrell, who passed to Fuller for the game winner, scored 11 points.
The Beavers return to Gill Coliseum to face Washington on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Networks. Fans can purchase a Northwest Package that includes tickets to Wednesday's game against the Huskies and a home date with Washington State at 2 p.m. on Saturday for only $20 by visiting beavertickets.com.
Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to Our Beaver Nation. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370. i> Former Student-Athletes are invited to join the Varsity O Facebook Page for upcoming Alumni events.
Follow Oregon State Athletics On YouTube.
Follow this link to find out more about the Pac-12 Networks.